It may go down as one of the best matches of the Premier League era.
The Etihad faithful was treated to a 9-goal thriller this afternoon between the two best footballing sides in the country, another scintillating game that you just couldn’t take your eyes off.
Aguero opened the scoring early on with a nice finish in the box, but a mistake from Yaya Toure led to Arsenal catching City out and Walcott leveled it with a scrappy goal.
Yaya redeemed himself with a lovely pass to Zabaleta, the Argentine assist machine sending a cross into the box for Negredo to get on the end of. This was the eighth home game on the bounce that “The Beast” has scored in.
The imperious Fernandinho, who has been excellent for City but was on a different level today, made it 3-1 after half-time with a beautiful curling finish. He’s been fluffing his lines in front of goal lately, but this was a quality goal.
Even a toilet break was out of the question as the frantic action continued, Walcott making it 3-2 after 63 minutes.
Nerves were on edge now as Arsenal looked good for a third goal, but the wonderful David Silva, who hasn’t shown any sign of rust after a lengthy injury, made it 4-2.
The points were secured when Fernandinho bagged his second and even a late goal for Mertesacker couldn’t worry City fans who have been conditioned over the years to fear the worst.
James Milner, who was again impressive after coming off the bench, won another penalty for the Blues and Yaya Toure slotted it home.
It was a fantastic performance from City who are spoiling us season card holders with some of the finest football we’ve ever seen from our beloved club.
Pellegrini has instilled a great work ethic and camaraderie into the team that wasn’t there last year, and the players showed great hunger to close the gap at the top today.
Samir Nasri deserves an honourable mention. He worked his backside off against his former club, who he is notorious for playing poorly against. But this is a new Nasri and despite fluffing his lines in front of goal, he made an excellent contribution and had a big grin on his face when the sold out Etihad applauded him off the pitch.
The major concern leaving the match was another muscle injury for Aguero, who hobbled off with a suspected calf injury. We won’t know the extent of it until tomorrow at the earliest, but it could mean weeks on the sideline for City’s star striker.
After the mid-week Capital One Cup game against Leicester, City visit Fulham in the league next weekend. After a decent 4 point haul away at West Brom and Southampton (oh, and beating that German team in the Champions League… Bayern something), a win over Fulham would continue to repair our dodgy away form this season.
Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy, Nasri (Garcia 90), Fernandinho, Toure, Silva (Milner 71), Aguero (Navas 50), Negredo
Subs not used: Hart, Lescott, Dzeko, Kolarov
Goals: Aguero 14, Negredo 39, Fernandinho 50 + 88, Silva 66, Yaya Toure 90
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny (Vermaelen 42), Monreal, Ramsey, Flamini (Gnabry 72), Walcott, Ozil, Wilshere, Giroud (Bendtner 76)
Subs not used: Rosicky, Arteta, Cazorla, Fabianski
Goals: Walcott 31 + 63, Mertesacker 90.
Attendance: 47,329 (sold out)
TKA Man of the Match: Fernandinho
Stats courtesy of WhoScored: